Apple Athenry objectors look to Supreme Court for appeal

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Two objectors to Apple’s planned €850 million data centre in Athenry are seeking permission to take their appeal to the Supreme Court.

In early November, the local objectors were refused permission to take their case to the Court of Appeal.

Allen Daly and Sinead Fitzpatrick wanted to appeal the Commercial Court’s decision to uphold the granting of planning permission by An Bord Pleanála.

They claimed the planning board failed to take account of the potential environmental impact of the project as a whole.

But Justice Paul McDermott didn’t feel they raised any issues of “exceptional public importance” to warrant an appeal.

They are now seeking permission to take an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Apple’s plans to build a state-of-the-art data centre on a 500-acre Coillte owned site just outside Athenry were first announced in 2015.

But not a single sod has since been turned because of objections from a number of local residents.

They raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of the project and accused An Bord Pleanála of not carrying out a proper assessment.

The Commercial Court ruled against them in October and last month, a High Court judge refused to hear their appeal against that decision because he felt the issues raised didn’t meet the required standard.

And that seemed to be that, but the Courts Service has confirmed the objectors now want to have their appeal heard before the Supreme Court.

There is no automatic right to have such an appeal heard before the highest court in the land and the threshold is even higher than the High Court but this latest development will undoubtedly delay the process even further.

A decision on whether to allow it is expected in the coming weeks.